A USPS OIG report from 2016 gives an excellent overview of the topic. The excerpt below explains delivery component benefits. The full report focuses more on crypto in other USPS service sectors and is a good read. (Full report link below excerpt)
A final application that might also prove useful for the Postal Service is better supply chain management: using blockchain to identify packages and mail in the same way individuals can be identified. As mentioned previously, blockchain removes the need for trust between parties, allowing it to coordinate the activities between parties more efficiently. The Postal Service has a number of customers, partners, contractors and other stakeholders that it coordinates with, including: other posts, customs agencies, shipping partners (UPS and FedEx), long-haul trucking drivers, mailers, and recipients. Using blockchain to manage interactions between these different entities could speed up shipments, particularly international ones.
Imagine if each mailpiece was embedded with a sensor that could keep track of its own chain of custody while executing smart contracts for payment and customs clearance. Each mailpiece, whether a parcel or letter, could be uniquely identified on a blockchain and have the ability to create transactions, allowing for the timely sharing of information and processing of payments. It would currently be prohibitively expensive to tag every piece of mail with a sensor. However, it may be possible that the
Postal Service could initially use the blockchain approach on high-value shipments in its early adoption stages and then rely on downward pressure on the cost of sensors to expand the feasibility of wider use over time.
This application would allow the Postal Service to keep an auditable chain of custody and embed additional shipment and tracking information to facilitate customs clearance and faster delivery. Furthermore, payment processing could be integrated directly into the shipping process — and paying in a digital currency would lower costs for online merchants and facilitate ecommerce while also allowing people without bank accounts to participate.
This approach is already being tested in the private sector: one of the current experiments on the Ethereum blockchain involves invoices that are automatically paid when a shipment arrives. There could be great potential for such an application in the cases of dropshipping, worksharing, or settlement of international terminal dues.
In essence, blockchain technology allows for close linkages between the financial, logistics, and delivery parts of commercial transactions with the power to unify payment and delivery in one seamless experience. Posts could become a single intermediary between merchants and customers, allowing them to reduce coordination needs, offer more efficient ecommerce solutions, contribute to the growth of ecommerce (particularly cross-border ecommerce), and increase their market share and revenue.